The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria has condemned recent attacks on three Nigerian journalists as well as the clampdown on media organizations in Gambia.
IPC in its recent update report on monitoring of the safety of journalists reveals that not less than three journalists have been arrested in Nigeria and two private radio stations shut down in Gambia. It would be recalled that Teranga FM and Hilltop Radio stations in Banjul Gambia were closed on the 8th of January by the Gambian security forces under the instruction of President Jammeh.
According to the media monitoring report update by IPC, three Nigerian Journalists have been arrested by security forces in recent times:
- Nsebiet John of The Ink, an Akwa-Ibom based newspaper on the 6th of January was detained for a night in police cell, arraigned and granted bail to the sum of #250,000 in Akwa-Ibom over a story he published alleging that the Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, “pockets” #250 million monthly as security votes from the state governor.
- Jerry Edoho, News Editor of Ibom Nation, a local newspaper based in Akwa-Ibom was on 6th of January also picked up in Uyo by police personnel from the Force headquarters in Abuja over a Facebook post he published referencing a rumored Dana Air crash and asking his readers to help verify the story.
- Daniel Ekiugbo, Publisher of Ugheli Times Magazine, in Delta who was whisked away from his private residence on October 25, 2016 by a crack team of men of the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) is still being detained by the DSS over an article he published on the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu.
Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade in a statement said it is certainly not acceptable in a democratic system of governance that journalists will continue to be at the receiving end of aggression by persons in authority.
“It is quite unfortunate that individuals in authority derive pleasure in being threats to journalists. It is certainly an abuse of power to arrest a journalist or shut down a station because you are not satisfied with what is being published/broadcast, there are better measures to take if you feel discredited,” Arogundade stated.
IPC therefore calls on all leaders of Nigeria and Gambia to use their positions to take quick actions in favour of individuals and organizations affected.
IPC also applauds the NUJ and civil society groups like SERAP and Grassroots Mobilizers who have risen to condemn the act. The organization urges other civil activists to continue to condemn and take actions in rising against acts that infringes on not only journalists’ rights, but also rights of the citizens in general.
Safety Alert Desk Officer, IPC
House 11, Dideolu Court, 2nd gate b/stop, Ogba Lagos